Car GPS in Gliders

Posted 12 years, 9 months ago    0 comments

For competition pilots some sort of GPS or Glide Computer is essential.

Have you ever noticed how car GPS systems (or PNAs) have a big bright screen? Well now the software that normally runs on PDAs is being made to work on some car GPS models, such as the iPaq 310 or 314, and the results look pretty stunning.

The HP iPaq 310 up top, a typical PDA on the right.
The HP iPaq 310 up top, a typical PDA on the right.

Car GPS's have some advantages over the more typical PDAs that people use:

  • Big, bright high resolution screens.
  • Touchscreen, designed for fingers , no stylus needed.
  • They come with a mounting system.
  • Built in GPS.

There are two software packages that are now working on these devices:

  • SeeYou Mobile, a commercial application, PNA test verision released just today.
  • XCSoar, a free application.

For more information on what you need, and how to plug it in to the power, see You can even hook it up to your Vario or built in glide computer. I suspect you need to do this to get accurate altitude information, as car GPS systems don't have altimeters built in.

Unfortunately that particular model of car GPS, the HP iPaq 300 series, is hard to buy in New Zealand and needs to be ordered from overseas. It retails between $250-$450USD. There are other models that work, but that one has the best screen from what I've read. If anyone ends up buying one, let us know where to get them in the comments. Craggy Aero appear to be selling them and ship internationally.

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